Second Amendment organizations are busier right now than they’ve ever been, with at least nine major lawsuits filed over the past few weeks challenging emergency orders by governors that are shutting down gun stores and preventing millions of Americans from acquiring firearms and ammunition for self-defense during a national emergency.
Alan Gottlieb, executive director and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to talk about the latest litigation, including a suit filed on Friday against New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham over her decision forcing firearms retailers to shut down while a state of emergency is in place.
Gottlieb says that, even in a state of emergency, the governor isn’t empowered under state law to demand that gun stores close, but he also cautions that it could be weeks or months before gun owners and residents hoping to become gun owners get relief, even with a request for a temporary injunction that would block the governor’s order from remaining in effect, at least as it applies to gun shops.
Like many other retail establishments that have been declared “non-essential,” those gun stores that have been ordered to close may struggle to re-open once the state of emergency has passed, but Gottlieb says that’s not the focus of the nearly one dozen cases that have been filed across the country. Instead, the suits are focused on the individuals who are being deprived of their right to keep and bear arms at the moment.
At least one federal judge has ruled that the gun store shutdowns don’t infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Americans. U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte, appointed by Barack Obama, denied a temporary injunction against Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has his order (since rescinded) that demanded firearms retailers close their doors during the current emergency. Birotte claimed that the current closures aren’t as big a deal as the handgun ban in Washington, D.C. that was struck down in the Heller decision, largely because of the temporary nature of the closures.
Gottlieb says the judge simply got it wrong, and notes that we have no idea how long any of these closures will last, because these orders can (and in some cases have) been extended. In the meantime, not only can prospective gun owners not acquire a handgun for self-defense, they’re being denied their ability to acquire any firearm. If you have the right to keep arms, you must have the right to get them, but that simply isn’t the case for Americans in Massachusetts, New York, and a handful of other states.
The head of the Second Amendment Foundation also says that more lawsuits are coming that will challenge the suspension of concealed carry applications, which we’ve seen in a number of locations. Expect more news on that front in the next couple of days, and in the meantime, be sure to check out the entire interview with Gottlieb above.
Also on today’s show we have the story of a Texas woman able to defend herself and her significant other from a home invader, a Dallas man arrested for murder when he should have been stuck behind bars, and a former Texas Ranger (baseball, not police) who’s stepping up and helping to feed Dallas police and keep a local restaurant open for business at the same time.